Farragut Alumnus and now Farragut parent Greg Ransone ’81S describes his time at Farragut and how things have changed and yet also have stayed the same.
Dating back to the mid 70s (1974 to be exact) through now, Admiral Farragut Academy has seen its fair share of changes and evolution. As a member of the St. Petersburg campus’ first sixth grade class established during the 1974-75 school year, I feel this is especially true. One thing that has not changed is that Farragut continues educating and charting life courses for young men and women leaders. I find myself very fortunate to be rejoining the Farragut Family for a second time in a new capacity as a parent to two new members of the classes of 2023, my son Will, and 2026, my son Greg Jr.
In the past, Farragut did things a little differently and some traditions still hold true. We wore our Khaki “unis” every day and today the cadets wear the uniform prescribed by the Navy JROTC program, or “NSUs”. Back then, the boarders had only two dedicated incoming phone lines to receive calls from your family, and today every cadet has a cell phone. Back then, every cadet had rifles for drill (the junior school had wooden mock-ups) and we had to remove the lacquer from our belt buckles to keep them shined, which no longer continues today. The only cadets that carry a rifle are members of the Armed Drill Team. I am happy to report that the more things have changed the more they’ve remained the same.
Alumni and students have a common understanding and bond, that our time spent at Farragut is unique and special. The late Senator and retired Navy CAPT, John McCain, reminds us, “Our shared values define us more than our differences. And acknowledging those shared values can see us through our challenges today if we have the wisdom to trust in them again.”
Farragut is the place we trace the roots of who we are today and the place we built the confidence that allows us to meet life’s challenges with a positive attitude to achieve the goal. It’s a community where we began to forge our character, instilled with integrity and self-discipline, that is required for the course ahead. Now, years later as a parent, I’ve gained a firsthand account of how meaningful the commitment my parents made for me. They wanted me to have the best education to prepare me for the life ahead, and Farragut offered those opportunities for success.
Being a part of the Farragut journey again is inspiring, as the educational opportunities are unmatched to the time I was a cadet. It is exciting to see these students have the exposure to programs we could have never dreamed of when we were cadets, such as aviation, scuba, and drones. The legacy of strong core values is still instilled in today’s cadets which makes me very proud.
This year I look forward to being on the sidelines cheering for the BlueJackets. It is an exciting time to witness my boys getting the opportunity to build themselves into the young men that we have always hoped our children would become. For me, continuing the Farragut Legacy is the truest example of coming full circle. Go BlueJackets!